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Great Chinese Food in CT


ErinB
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I'm posting this because I just had a great meal from one of my favorite Chinese/Pan-Asian place in CT, Char Koon in South Glastonbury, CT. They have the standard Chinese-American fare, Beef with Broccoli, General Tso's chicken, but then also have unusual dishes which they describe as "pacific rim/southeast-asian." It seems to me a mix of Thai, Chinese, Indian and I don't know what else. They have a section of the menu devoted to noodle dishes.

Tonight I had their vegetarian dumplings, which were great. I can't describe what was in them except for the fact that they had some type of greens. I also had their Spring Rolls, which have shrimp and bok choy (i think) in them. For some reason i am addicted to them, they are very light tasting, compared to spring rolls i get normally in a thai restaurant. I also got their Hot and Sour soup which had Tofu and Mushrooms, and was very spicy.

My meal also made me wonder about other good Chinese restaurants in CT. In a previous post someone mentioned Taste of China in Clinton. I've never been there, but want to try it.

I've also always wondered about Great Taste in New Britain. It gets a 25 for food in Zagat, which is the highest for Chinese in the state. Has anyone been there?

What are some other exceptional Chinese restaurants in the state?

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I've lived in Stamford for 20 years and I'm still looking for a good Chinese Restaurant.

You are right, I cannot think of a good Chinese in Stamford.

How about the following:

Little Kitchen or Taipan in Westport ( I guess same owners). Also Tengda in Westport, fairly a new one is good to very good.

Asiana or Penang Grill in Greenwich.

Chings in New Canaan. Talking about New Canaan I like Thali (For some great Indian food and decor)

I have eaten in all of the above restaurants and I enjoyed thoroughly. :wub::wub:

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I enjoy all of those that you mentioned except I tend to consider them to be more "pan asian" than chinese. Chings Table is fairly close to where I live in Stamford so I go there regularly and always enjoy the food. I've noticed a slight drop off in quality though as they've expanded by taking over other restaurants including Hunan Taste, also in New Canaan.

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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I find Penang Grill inconsistent. Some very good things, some mediocre ones, although I usually use them for takeout, since seating is so limited and maybe that is affecting the quality. I have been to Asiana once and thought it was very good.

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Having lived abroad, including stays in Beijing, I can honestly say that Greenwich is home to a great and authentic Chinese restaurant, Hunan Gourmet on Putnam Ave. Having just bought a home in Greenwich I have been very pleased with my several meals I have already had there. Ask for it for Hunan style and spicy and you truly get what you ask for. People have suggested Panang Grill and Asiana Cafe to us which were ok, but for selection, food quality and service, Hunan Gourmet is the place. I make sure to bring my friends there for dinners and mai tais. Another thing, the specials are truly special.

We had a dinner party at our house, on another occassion, for about 40 and the owners of the restaurant were very helpful and professional in helping us choose exactly what we were looking for. I do not think you would get that service anywhere else.

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Thanks for the advice on Hunan Gourmet. I have been there several times although only once in the last year or so and thought it was OK, not great. It was definitely better the last time I was there than on previous visits. It might be a question of communicating to the staff exactly what you want as you did. It might be worth another try.

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I enjoy all of those that you mentioned except I tend to consider them to be more "pan asian" than chinese.

Could you please mention few dishes in Chinese which are your favorites or likes and dislikes, may be we can find some good Chinese in these Pan Asian Restaurants.

In my opinion people are just tired of plain old Chinese restaurants and I guess it's hard for just Chinese to stay in biz other than mom amd pop to go's !!

Will give a full try on Hunan Gourmet again may be tonight, was not impressed on my last visit and or there was nothing memorable to return back.

Fun :raz:

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Having lived abroad, including stays in Beijing, I can honestly say that Greenwich is home to a great and authentic Chinese restaurant, Hunan Gourmet on Putnam Ave.

I am sorry I have to contradict here a BIG way but the following is my response on the visit to Hunan Gourmet and probably my last one too........

No no no !! I wouldn't return to hunan gourmet even if they paid me to go back. Right from the moment we entered it was pretty negative. Pushy and poor service. Seems like they want to get you out as fast as possible. Food was very ordinary to poor. Atmosphere was dull. Dinners were brought to the table before you could even finish your soup or apps. As we were eating the waiter asked if we needed anything and we said no, the next we know is the check lands on the table with cookies. Terrible way to please a customer. I usually enjoy most places even if they were ordinary but not this one !!

This one I did not have FUN at allll.

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In retrospect, the post from New Homeowner looked a little suspicious since it showed up in 3 different threads with the same wording at almost exactly the same time. While I thought the restaurant was better the last time I went there about a year ago, I hadn't been in several years and haven't been back, since in wasn't very compelling. I was hoping it might have improved. Obviously not.

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All this thinking of Chinese food got me in the mood so we went to Hunan Gourmet last night. They had a lobster and soft shell crab special that was cooked perfectly - the lobster was steamed with ginger, and an order of scallion pancakes, light on the oil that was great too.

Didn't know I couldn't reply to more than one thread related to Chinese food Rickster. Just trying to offer good advice.

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Since you and Funcook were at the same restaurant on the same evening and your experiences were very different, maybe Funcook can elaborate on the problems with the food. My experience has been that it was OK, but I have not been there in a while.

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In retrospect, the post from New Homeowner looked a little suspicious since it showed up in 3 different threads with the same wording  at almost exactly the same time.

Yes it seemed to me it was unadultrated praise for this Chinese and as per Rickster's quote above my suspicion stands strong and it seems there is a high level of suspicion that it's a shill, plant, troll, or whatever.

I honestly felt the food was OK to poor. Spring rolls dripping of oil with tasteless filling, a fillet mignon with onions in brown sauce was tasteless, chewy and muddy flavored. What claimed to be Prawns were actually shrimp.

I think my evening could have been better somewhere else and if the NEW HOMEOWNER was infact at Hunan last night he must have been one among three other tables. I am not here to criticize if someone enjoyed their dinner, I am here to give my opinion, I certainly did not and I shall not return or reccomend.

On the other hand other neighborhood Asian/Chinese restaurants were busy. We ended up at Wish in Stamford for a after dinner drink.

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  • 1 month later...

My wife and I tried Clinton's Taste of China on the Post Road in Clinton recently and were quite impressed. Only good Chinese we've found since moving to CT nearly three years ago. It seemed like Szechuan the way it used to be. We're looking forward to seeing if the first impressions will hold up to a repeat visit.

(I know this is my first post and, therefore, instantly suspect, so take it with the proverbial grain of salt.) :biggrin:

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to add my opinion to the debate above re: Hunan Gourmet. I have only tried it once (takeout) and found that the food was good, but not outstanding. I am Chinese-American, and recently moved from NYC to Fairfield County, so maybe I was being unfair, comparing the food to all the great Chinese restaurants in NY and to my mom's cooking. My brother insists that Hunan Gourmet is the best Chinese food in the area, which may be true... So far, we haven't been able to find any other consistently good, authentic-tasting Chinese (not pan-Asian) restaurants to eat at or to order from. So while the search continues, I would probably go to Hunan Gourmet again when the Chinese food craving hits.

I should also note that my brother has ordered from Hunan Gourmet numerous times and has gotten chummy with the owner or manager there, so maybe the food I tried was better than the food on an average night? I've never eaten there, so I'm unable to comment on the service otherwise.

Edited by sister soul (log)
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Here's something I've always wondered about Chinese restaurants outside of major cities....

I wonder if they are trying to produce food that they THINK is what the American palate wants and if you go in and simply order form the menu, that's what you get.

However, if you talk with the waiter or owner and they figure that you "get it" you'll get the real deal.

Just a random thought.

"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

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However, if you talk with the waiter or owner and they figure that you "get it" you'll get the real deal.

Must be kidding !! Chinese waiters in traditional old Chinese restaurants? They just seem to shake their heads and never take requests or listen to you. At least, I have never been lucky with them.

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anything in the waterbury connecticut area?

thankee  :biggrin:

river

There are two pretty good places in Southbury:

Empire Szechuan next to Pier One on Main St. South

The eggplant with garlic sauce is great as well as other dishes I've tried.

And Oriental Gourmet in the K-Mart plaza is good too.

Both are also (conveniently for me) "hybrid" chinese/sushi bar places.

Normally I'll avoid getting sushi in those types of places and ESPECIALLY in the buffet places but E.S. has the better sushi bar and is always busy. The sushi is very fresh.

JANE

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  • 5 months later...

Just wanted to make a comment on "Green Tea" in Farmington.

I go up to visit in the Farmington/Avon area (from Northern NJ) every once in a while and ALWAYS go out for Chinese food. I've been to the Green Tea restaurant on Farmington Ave, several times, and it has always been fine, but Friday evening I was pleasently surprised.

We ordered Duck strips with vegetables(forgot already what they were!!) -- good; Beef Filets with Black Pepper Sauce -- good, altho it could have had more black pepper; but the dish that I want to comment on is "Chicken with Garlic Sprouts".

I am a big fan of this vegetable (Suan Miao or Jiu Cai Hua , sometimes called 'flowering chives', but it is a sturdy stalk, not a flat leaf), and have often wondered why it is not seen in more places. It is not often on menus, and in places that have a large Chinerse clientel, you may see it it if there is a separate Chinese menu.

I asked the waiter if they had a separate Chinese menu when I went in, and they said there wasn't one, but there was a menu with a couple of interesting items ---- this dish being one of them. There were several other dishes that showed an eclectic Pacific Rim trend -- basil sauce, lemongrass, but the use of the garlic sprouts is just great plain old homey food. IMMHO.

In NJ, there are a couple of Shanghainese restaurants that use the sprouts, but most of the eaters are Chinese. I didn't see any Chinese at Green Tea, and all the tables were set with knives and forks, so I presume that it does not have that many chopstick-eating people.

Could it be that this wonderful vegetable is finally making its way from the markets into the restaurants? Has anyone else found it in other restaurants in that area?

Edited by jo-mel (log)
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  • 1 year later...

Ching's Table in New Canaan

Penang in Greenwich.

These 2 Asian sister restaurants are hard to beat. Non-traditional Asian cooking, served beautifully, nice smart-casual ambience, wonderful, memorable flavors.

At Ching's the best dish IMHO is the Crisp Red Snapper with Penang Curry, and the Duck strips in Ginger sauce.

At Penang, go for the mini-wok dishes where you pick the sauce and the meat, and they pick the vegetables to go with the dish.

Salads are fabulous, Blue Cabbage salad, Vietnamese salad, and a Greens salad with a dressing to die for. Great stuff!!

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